Lisa Schwarzbaum
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For 1,907 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 71% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Man on Wire
Lowest review score: 0 Old Dogs
Score distribution:
1,907 movie reviews
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a lovely, original, Australian take on a climactic moment usually thought of as all American.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Topsy-Turvy reminds us that, in any age, creative expression is at once the most personal and most communal of enterprises.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    While never slow, the film feels quiet and spacious, like a prayer.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rosetta is a character of raw pride in a film of lingering power.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    These 173 minutes don't drag, they waltz.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With the pitiless, devastating Fat Girl, Catherine Breillat puts men and women, boys and girls on notice: When fantasy, hypocrisy, and manipulation mix in a wet, sandy place, you dive into sex at your own risk.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This stunning movie -- one of the very best of the year -- makes a much read American classic feel new and freshly devastating.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A small cubist masterpiece about crime and punishment set in that most split-level of environments, Los Angeles.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The lightness with which Buñuel was able to insert the little jokes and knife stabs of surrealism he loved so much is, in fact, divine.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Without ever dipping into indignity among wet, half-naked men, Shower sparkles with joy.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Rohmer treasures the undervalued glories of discourse and the intimacy of conversation over the obviousness of action or sexual display.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Circles the heart of noisy, modern Tehran with an informal, documentary-like freedom that is thrilling in its naturalism.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Achieves its exquisite tension--deepening beautifully from a "Death in Venice" setup to an imaginative meditation, on art and life, of uncommon sensitivity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Affliction -- a beautiful bummer, a magnificent feel-bad movie -- is American filmmaking of a most rewarding order.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Stunning, fully formed masterpiece.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The real feast is in the mix of characters, each so finely and unschmaltzily delineated in a script so confident and controlled that even the most passing of participants comes alive.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Beautiful, compassionate, articulate domestic drama.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Fierce, loving, and electric, this movie's got bite as well as bark.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's piercing sadness, and fury, too, in this Everyman's isolation, and Cantet is singularly skilled at evoking the universal condition of such tragic ordinariness.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Don't let unpleasant personal dental associations stand in the way of seeing a luminous specimen of independent filmmaking.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    American Splendor presents Pekar as drawn on the page, Pekar as brilliantly interpreted by Paul Giamatti, and the actual Pekar, in the double role of narrator and interview subject -- sometimes all at once. The magic act is thrilling, and truly surprising.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's thrillingly original, lyrical, and wise, and the filmmaker conveys the mutable intensity of young love with the authoritative originality of an important filmmaker.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Alexander Payne's scathing, subtle, and complexly funny tragicomedy builds a perfect, off-kilter universe--it's a first cousin to "Rushmore."
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An amazing thing -- a work of cinematic art in which form and structure pursues the logic-defying (parallel) subjects of dreaming and moviegoing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A gaily funny, shrewdly inventive satire.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gets weirder and meaner and darker and sadder as it progresses, which is amazing since it simultaneously remains funny and horrifying right up to the end.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a great, IQ-flattering entertainment both wonderful and wise.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dizzily rich, witty, and satisfying.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    (Denis's) visual style is hypnotic, rapturous, and she makes barren landscapes look gorgeous, hard men look vulnerable.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sad, funny, sexy, and altogether marvelous.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The uncoagulated anguish of parents mourning the death of a child has rarely been more powerfully depicted than in the collected vignettes of grief, rage, and retribution that make up the riveting domestic drama In the Bedroom.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The power of this great movie -- part comedy, part tragedy, part satire, mostly masterpiece -- is in the details.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Almodóvar's masterwork, is a spectacular synthesis of everything that has always interested him -- proud women, lovely boys, beautiful drag queens, grand movie stars, gorgeous frocks, wild wallpaper .
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The superb screenplay won an award at Cannes this year for good reason.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Stunning, unsettling, beautifully written drama.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Pfeiffer reveals an emotional nakedness that's almost shocking. Never has she exposed so much and done it so simply. Who knew she could be this good?
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The antidote to every square tough-guy caper you've ever seen, and the inspiration for many great ones. It is an existential imperative to seek out a showing and burn rubber to get there, preferably in an excellent car.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like everything else in this superb work of art, ''Shrinking Lover'' is exquisitely Almodóvarian. It's funny, tender, a little shocking, and it pays homage to what we know about movies: that they can move us beyond words.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Vibrantly, intricately alive on its own terms. This is what magic the movies can conjure with an inspired fellowship in charge, and unlimited pots of gold.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A witty, stylish, beautifully made charmer of a family picture.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Murray, meanwhile, turns in a thrillingly knowing, unforced performance--an award-worthy high point in a career that continues, Max Fischer style, to defy the obvious at every turn.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The message, if there must be one, of this marvelous, stubbornly personal movie is that there is a spark in every soul.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Soaring and romantic, wild and serene, feminist and gutsy, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of the best movies of the year.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A triumph of psychological depth and artistic brilliance offered as the magical adventures of one skinny little girl.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A memory of the automobile in which a father drove away from his family provides the title for Blue Car but no hint of the power of writer-director Karen Moncrieff's superb feature debut.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    You could trawl the seven seas and not net a funnier, more beautiful, and more original work of art and comedy than Finding Nemo.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What's astonishing about Sofia Coppola's enthralling new movie is the precision, maturity, and originality with which the confident young writer-director communicates so clearly in a cinematic language all her own.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    So superb, so graceful, so strong -- another beauty in this year of good documentaries -- that I do believe it will influence career choices, sending inspired viewers to study pedagogy, or cinematography.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Eastwood directs Mystic River with an invigorated grace and gravitas. This is a true American beauty of a movie, a tale of men and their bonds told by and for adults who value the old-fashioned Hollywood-studio notion of narrative.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Pay attention to the enhanced detail audible in a new six-track sound mix, which may be the most important cleaning job of all; silence and Jerry Goldsmith's score have never twined so hauntingly.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The conclusion of Peter Jackson's masterwork is passionate and literate, detailed and expansive, and it's conceived with a risk-taking flair for old-fashioned movie magic at its most precious.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Errol Morris may have been put on earth to make The Fog of War, a stunning portrait of Robert S. McNamara that closes a year of outstanding nonfiction movies on a high note.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Ceylan, who also served as cinematographer, frames the affecting, unstudied performances in gorgeously chosen shots and nonevents that sometimes teeter on the edge of comedy before knocking us breathless with their emotional power.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is a rare uncensored postcard from a ruined place, a document at once depressing and hideously beautiful that sketches the real hardships of trampled people -- specifically women -- with authority and compelling simplicity.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Can be interpreted politically or even biblically or not at all, as the elemental struggles between dominance and submission, impulse and action, man and nature, father and son, play out to their stunning conclusion.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sophisticated, funny, and joyously subversive animated bug epic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A highly original Death in Venice-scented comedy drama written and directed with flair by British feature novice Richard Kwietniowski.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Don't leave before the final frame -- if you're still breathing.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Unusual, unhurried tour de force--a seamless match of strong artistic vision and physical performance. [19 Dec 1997, p. 52]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's no denying that when it comes to communicating a certain delirious romanticism of character shaped by thousands of hours spent sitting in the dark, the artist who made this showpiece is a master.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The storytelling is the series' best, with a zingy balance of drama, humor, and Deep Thoughts (in a screenplay by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, directed with confident exuberance by Irvin Kershner). [Special Edition]
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This triumphant sequel to the hard-to-top 2002 original may be the first great comic-book movie in the age of self-help and CGI wizardry, an entertainment in which both the thrills and the therapeutic personal growth are well earned.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Unfolds with a simplicity that's as breathtaking as its inevitability is harrowing.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Stunning and compassionate period drama.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result: This great work of art has the potential to change the world.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's an intoxicating feeling when a movie excites and enlivens us like this -- and there's a particular giddiness to be had in thinking about what movies can (but don't often) do for one's soul after imbibing such a fine vintage.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dazzlingly beautiful, funny, and meaningful.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Almereyda excises big chunks of plot to shape his vision, but retains Shakespeare's language and pays such rigorous attention to meaning and subtext that what's missing isn't missed.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Tsai builds this shimmering story with deft, deadpan wit and a warm, understated love of the absurd, both in life and afterlife.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Yagira's performance is so extraordinary, it won him the best actor prize at the 2004 Cannes film festival.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It took director-producer Leon Gast 22 years to edit and finance When We Were Kings, his thrilling documentary about the legendary 1974 heavyweight-championship fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire. But the lag time has only deepened the impact of this thrilling documentary: All sad thoughts of Ali as a wounded warrior fall away in the glow of seeing the champ at his best.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like a great novel from a more expansive bygone age, The Best of Youth is full of big thoughts; like a great soap opera, it's also full of sharp plot turns, vibrant characters, and great talk. It is, in short, the best of cinema.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Miller's theme is innocence, the loss of it, and the reclamation of equanimity in the face of that loss, and the music she makes is haunting.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The wry filmmaker has created an urbane society of family and friends as ridiculously pretentious and hypocritical as they are cultured, accomplished, and posh.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A confidently original, engrossing interpretation.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Definition eludes the delicate pleasures of this marvelous, idiosyncratic movie collage.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A film of wonderful looseness and innovation. Set free to film fakes, the director is the real thing.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The filmmaking is as strong as the subject matter, with an elegant structure.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A movie of uncommon sweetness and delight.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    But it is the steady accretion of hundreds of small moments in this elegant, high-spirited, intensely satisfying production -- the director's third American movie, but the first to approach the dazzle of his Hong Kong stuff -- that, toted up, makes everything right about this des- perately welcome thriller.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    David Cronenberg's brilliant movie -- without a doubt one of the very best of the year.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bestows generous blessings on all that's good in Englishness, in moviedom, and, of course, in cheese.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A doozy of a French gangster pic that, in its beautifully refurbished and pithily resubtitled re-release, turns out to be one of the highlights of the 2005 movie year.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    One of the wonders of the holiday season.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The picture moves with stealth, enjoying its own thriller-ness as hints are laid and mislaid. There's a sense that Hitchcock is hovering in the background and cheering for Auteuil, who musters all his French superstardom to play a man having his mask of blandness torn off.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The first great, mind-tickling treat of the new movie year.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This beautiful, terrible story is not easily forgotten.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mr. Lazarescu is that rich and riveting a film of universal small human moments and big-system failure.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The picture was made in 1969 and is only now being released in the U.S., in a beautiful restoration supervised by original cinematographer Pierre Lhomme.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Half Nelson offers an opportunity to marvel, once again, at the dazzling talent of Ryan Gosling for playing young men as believable as they are psychologically trip-wired.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's in all the moments where little happens that Reichardt is most amazing, investing even a gas-station pit stop with perfect emotional pitch.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    49 Up is a precious document, and must viewing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Around town, Stephen Fry ("Peter's Friends"), as a fluty artiste, dogs Flora with his devotion and declares, "I'm engorgedly in love with you!" That's how I feel about this gem.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The calm poetry of the cinematography offsets the mess of the politics to stunning effect.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The ensemble cast shared the best-actor award at the 2006 Cannes film festival -- and rightly so.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Clint Eastwood's profound, magisterial, and gripping companion piece to his ambitious meditation on wartime image and reality, "Flags of Our Fathers."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a work of art that deserves a space cleared for its angry, nervous beauty.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like any great myth, Pan's Labyrinth encodes its messages through displays of magic. And like any good fairy tale, it is also embroidered with threads of death and loss.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The serious accusations are leavened by the moments of brimming, illogical, intimate neighborly dailiness the filmmaker also captures with warmth and infectious high spirits.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There are moments in A Little Princess--particularly Cuaron's Indian play-within-the-play, which is nearly avant-garde in its conception--when you may just want to clap from pleasure. My advice to you is: Go ahead, you're a grown-up. [26 May 26 1995]
    • Entertainment Weekly

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